Friday, May 27, 2011

"The ancestral force of Lempira": COPINH responds

A pattern is emerging in responses from the more revolutionary forces within the FNRP: greet Mel, while making it clear his importance is due to his symbolic place as a most visible, but not unique, victim of the coup and institutionalized power; don't mention the Cartagena Accord by name; do denounce the government of Porfirio Lobo Sosa and repudiate any claim that "reconciliation" has happened.

Again courtesy of Adrienne Pine at quotha, we have a translation of one of the responses that we have been anticipating most anxiously: that of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH).

The original statement in Spanish was issued May 27, in La Esperanza, Intibuca, the heart of the territory of the contemporary Lenca, and the core of the area where in the early sixteenth century Lempira led resistance to Spanish colonization.

COPINH, like the Artists in Resistance, addresses its statement to Mel, calling for "a warm welcome to you, who symbolize the struggle of the Honduran people to create a participatory and human democracy".

That is immediately followed by a call to
deepen all our efforts at denouncing the criminal dictatorship led by Porfirio Lobo Sosa, peon of the oligarchy and of North American imperialism.

COPINH then turns to address the OAS directly:
if you think you will wipe the board clean and start over, you are mistaken; you are mistaken in your cold economic calculations, in your political pragmatism, in your urgent desire to serve imperialism in its project of rearranging the continent; you are mistaken in your hypocrisy of recognizing a murderous regime that is the inheritor of a coup d'état and that has not complied with the conditions for return imposed by the OAS itself, for which it was expelled in the first place.

Indeed, the hypocrisy about human rights issues is glaring; to simply accept yet another assurance from Lobo Sosa, who has, after all, consistently assured the OAS and other international bodies that he is respecting human rights (while his Minister of Security tightens the noose, and journalists and activists continue to die in incidents that go uninvestigated), might be a pretty good definition of heartless pragmatism.

COPINH raises another troubling issue that is side-stepped by taking the Cartagena Accord as sufficient ground to reintegrate Honduras in the OAS: the authors of the coup have not been sanctioned.

The amnesty law passed by a complicit Honduran congress continues to block resolution of the political crisis because it represents impunity, as the COPINH statement recognizes, affirming the group's
conviction to fight, alongside the nation, against impunity, and to do everything possible to ensure that there will be punishment for the authors and actors of the criminal coup.

COPINH particularly underlines the project for which it has been a leading advocate within the Frente, "refounding" Honduras, vowing to continue efforts toward
the creation of a new society, refounded from below, capable of achieving decolonization, emancipation, and a dignified life

In that same passage, COPINH reaffirms its commitment to struggles that began before the coup, and that are motivated as much by inequities in the fundamental governmental and economic system of the country as at those introduced or exacerbated by the disruption in constitutionality brought on by the coup, committing to
continuing with the historic struggle that we have been undertaking in our communities defending our natural resources, our sovereignty, our self-determination.

It is worth reminding readers that one of the reasons that COPINH is committed to a new constitution is that the current constitution lacks protections for indigenous sovereignty, and treats natural resources as national resources, denying these same communities mechanisms to defend themselves against the damages caused, for example, by mining projects. Tinkering at the edges of the current constitution cannot bring the protections these advocates want and need to protect their continuity as communities.

Lest anyone labor under the illusion that a process of "truth and reconciliation" has been begun, let alone been completed, COPINH ends with an exhortation calling on "the ancestral force of Lempira, Mota and Etempica", sixteenth century indigenous leaders:
We will not forget, We will not forgive, and WE WILL NOT reconcile!!

So the tally continues to run against the Cartagena Accord...

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